Enabling the Agile Enterprise

Today, many business domains are facing unprecedented change. Volatility and uncertainty are forcing organizations of all shapes, sizes, and maturities to reassess every aspect of their leadership approach, management structure, and decision making to encourage a more flexible way of working. What are the key elements that must be addressed by large established organizations to adopt this flexible approach?

For many, it is agile delivery that holds the key. Over the past 20 years, agile practices have been developed to support software developers deliver solutions quickly and robustly in situations characterized by uncertain requirements and demanding operating environments. More recently, the practices used by software  developers have been adapted more broadly to other aspects of the software life-cycle. Indeed, they have become important in areas outside of software development in areas such as marketing, business development, and project management.

Recognizing these concerns, Unities was engaged by Headspring to provide the insights they needed to accelerate their delivery approach in the massively disrupted corporate education market. Headspring is a joint-venture between the Financial Times and IE Business School established in 2015. Founded on the principle that executive development needs to be collaborative, relevant and measurable, Headspring’s purpose is to design a new and more relevant approach to executive development that is fit for the challenges and business environment of the 21st century. To achieve these goals, they wanted to enhance their agile practices to help them deliver more value to their clients, and to deliver it quicker and more flexibly than ever before.

To achieve that goal, Unities designed a series of workshops to be delivered to the entire Headspring organization, supported by exercises, team coaching, and a library of self-paced learning materials. By bringing together the latest thinking in agile delivery with case studies and experiences from industry leaders, we were able to bring agile techniques to life for Headspring. Following high engagement in the workshops, leaders from across the organization began to work with their teams to develop and support adoption of agile techniques in key areas of the business.

The result was a significant uplift in understanding and experimentation with the use of agile techniques across Headspring, from business development through to marketing and delivery. While this journey is on-going, the interventions from Unities were seen as critical to provide the guidance and expert insights to ensure Headspring has set off in the right direction, armed with the tools necessary to successfully reach their destination.